This past week, Dannie and I and the Zapatas went to Cabo for 5 days of relaxation, sun and baby-free fun. As most people know, vacation is a weird thing. Usually it takes a couple days to actually get in the “vacation” mindset. The first couple of days are spent worrying about the kid(s), the job, the deadlines, the appointments or the other countless things that fill our normal day. So for me, it wasn't until day 3 that I really hit my stride and enjoyed where we were. Or, to say it a better way, it wasn't until day 3 that I really rested.
Some of my favorite moments in scripture are moments when Jesus asks his disciples to retreat with him to a quiet place. It happens a couple of times, and every time I can imagine the disciples moaning and complaining about it because of the countless other things they could be doing. There were people to heal and fish to multiply. There were Romans to smash and people to eat with. Again and again though, Jesus pulls them away from the crowd for moments of rest. And I don't really think of it as rest in the “spiritual” sense that we normally assume people need: to contemplate on God and, to use the church phrase, “get right with God”. Or, that we need a vacation so that we can refuel for more work.
No, I think that Jesus might have called his disciples away from the crowd because in the midst of the crowd, and life, we forget that life can and will go on without us there. The kids are being cared for by very capable grandparents, the job wont shut down without us there, the deadlines can be taken care of by someone else and the appointments can always be rescheduled.
Our times of vacation and rest are moments for us to realize that the world keeps spinning as we take a break and realize that we are just as needy as the next person, we are just as broken, and we need Jesus just as much as everyone else.
And that, is a beautiful thing.